Friday, 30 October 2015

Wednesday 28th October 2015

This morning was a slightly earlier start as we were heading to Seelampar slum to visit the community centre that Amanda has been into twice before.

After an hours journey on the treacherous Delhi roads we arrived on the edge of Seelampur slum. The change between the slum we are working in and this new one was incredible; Seelampur having a population of 40,000 people and rubbish that lined the streets, piled high on street corners.
Despite this, we were welcomed with open hearts and loving smiles as we walked through the community centre gates.

We commenced with a tour of the centre which was amazing to see the wonderful murals done by previous teams, including a space room and another jungle scene, this was followed by an 11 o clock devotion which involved lots of singing from both groups of people including my lighthouse and our god is a great big god which everyone enjoyed following the actions to.

Secondly, prayer was asked for by a large group of women and a few men so the guys prayed for the guys and the girls split into pairs to pray for the women. God moved in this time and made his presence known giving words and pictures of encouragement and making promises of healing whether gradually or in the near future.

We were then taken around the slum and visited many houses where we were shown wonderful hospitality and were again received with love and great joy. It was wonderful to see how so many people take such pride in the little they have and that they take so much care of what they have and always strive to provide more for the people they love. Our walk around the slum lasted roughly an hour and a half during which we prayed for several families and also received gifts from the president of the women's groups who gave beautiful scarves to all the women and pocket handkerchiefs to all the guys.
She was a truly wonderful women and made an astonishing effort to make us feel welcome even putting up adorable fairly lights and playing music that we recognised to be christmas songs.

Lunch was next which was a simple biryani which tasted delicious. It came with a fabulous sauce and the majority of people went back for seconds and thirds with some of the guys going back for even tenths and twelfths!

Once lunch was over, we danced with the children from Seelampur. They danced for us first, then we danced for them, showing off little sections of routines and particular dance moves. Shiv, one of the members of Asha staff, is a dancer and he was very talented, so he taught us how to dance, he got us each up individually to dance and unfortunately for us all, Dave Jessel caught the whole thing on camera!

A trip to the new A block followed our interesting dance session and it was really striking how poor this new area of Seelampur was. The slum huts were all temporary, made of tarpaulin and tents, constructed in a dry river bed underneath a busy road. We were told that 3-4 thousand people live there and there are approximately 700 homes. We were unable to venture into this slum area, but we looked at it from a distance and I'm sure it will be in all of our prayers.

Amanda and Beth, being the amazing people that they are, surprised us next with the treat of seeing elephants. Then after all the desired selfies had been taken, we mounted the elephants in threes for an amazing experience riding on an elephant. There were award winning facial expressions as the elephant stood  up, the best being from Beth as a look of fear and wonder appeared on her face!
Just to top off the awesome elephant rides, we had some slightly old mushy bananas in the boot of our car which we decided to fed to the elephant. Her trunk approached Dave Talbot as he brought them out of the car and we each had a turn at feeding the elephant a well deserved treat for carrying us all around.

For dinner, we were welcomed with open arms and the amazing smell of home cooked food, when we went to Joel's family's house. We had an amazing main meal of chicken with biryani that was followed by three wonderful cakes. Most people had two or three slices as we had been deprived of most sweet things. There was a lovely walnut cake, a delicious apple cake and finally, much to everyone's delight, a mouthwatering chocolate cake that i think we would all eat all day everyday if we could.

Today was such a good day; the range of activities we did came together to make the most amazing uplifting experience that I'm sure will stick in all of our minds. 

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